US administration doubled down on its threat to shut down the southern border with Mexico on Sunday March 31st, a day after it cut aid to Central American countries which President Donald Trump accused of deliberately sending migrants to the US, Reuters reported.
Struggling with huge numbers of asylum seekers from Central American countries who travel through Mexico, Trump said on Friday March 29th there was a "good likelihood" he would close the border this coming week if Mexico does not prevent asylum seekers from reaching the US borders. In addition to closing the border, Trump accused, without providing evidence, the nations of having "set up" migrant caravans and sending them north.
Speaking to ABC's "This Week" show, White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said the president had few other options in the absence of any support from Democrats for more border security or legislative action to change the immigration law.
"Faced with those limitations, the president will do everything he can. If closing the ports of entry means that, that's exactly what he intends to do," Mulvaney said. "We need border security and we're going to do the best we can with what we have," he added.
White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told "Fox News Sunday" that the situation at the border was at "melting point" and said the President was serious in his threat. "It certainly is not a bluff. You can take the president seriously."
Neither of Trump's aides offered any specific details or timeline for the potential border shutdown.